Album review: Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City (XL)


Experimentation is generally to be applauded, but too often here it works to the detriment of the songs.

The skittering drum'n'bass rhythm, orchestration and chorale of "Hudson" are interesting, but ultimately too formalistically wielded to make the track enjoyable; likewise, there seems little connection between the itchy arrangement of "Finger Back" and the song itself.

This happens time and again in Modern Vampires of the City, with only a few exceptions – notably "Unbelievers", which resembles "Peggy Sue" played on muted calliope, and "Ya Hey", a rumination on national disaffection lifted by a glorious title chant chorus. "Hannah Hunt" is another success, its account of a cross-country jaunt related over a warm soundscape of smeared tones and thudding beats.

Download: Ya Hey; Unbelievers; Hannah Hunt